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Conventions of Rom-Coms

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Kimberley Ware

on 5 November 2012

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Transcript of Conventions of Rom-Coms

By Kimberley Ware Conventions of a Rom-Coms The Rom-com genre is short for the genre Romantic Comedy. Rom-com is a hybrid genre which means it has many different conventions as it is a romantic film which references of comedy. Romantic films are usually aimed towards females whereas comedies are aimed mainly toward the males. Because Rom-coms have romance and comedy this makes the target audience both male and female. Rom-Coms Propp studied fairytale books and imposed that there was eight character functions to every fairytale. We now think that we can apply this to movies.

The eight character functions are:
Hero
Villain
Sidekick
Princess
Princesses Father
False Hero
Donor
Dispatcher Propp theory Mise-En-Scene Iconography Todorov's Theory was based on fairy tales, he said that there was five stages to every story, theses stages are;

Equilibrium - State of 'normality' in the world of the film.
Disruption - Something goes wrong.
Recognition - Main character realises somethings gone wrong.
Repair - fix it.
New equilibrium. Todorov There are many themes in a rom-com including the obvious comedy and romance but rom-coms also including many more themes including; family and friends, love, heartbreak, tears and problems. Sometime the films can involve other themes like the war or it can be set in a particular time of the year. For example Christmas. Themes Characters in a Rom-Com In a Rom-Com the hero is usually the main male actor who is trying to win the girls heart. The villain is most commonly the person that tries to stop the couple getting together. The main female lead who ends up falling in love is classed as the princess and the Sidekicks are usually the main characters friends, as it is a comedy one of the friends is usually Quite silly and causes humorous trouble. The friends could also be classed as the dispatchers as they could send the Princess and the hero to each other. The princesses Father maybe in the Rom-com but not always. There is normally a False Hero which is who you think the princess is going to fall for but it turns around. The donor is not always noticed in the film but is always the one that solves the situation. In the film Forgetting Sarah Marshall conventions are challenged as peter could be classed as the Princess as he is the one who gets saved from the break up by a hero. In the film The Ugly Truth Gerard Butler could be classed as the Villain as he tries to ruin the Female leads dates as he doesn't believe in love but then at the end of the film they end up falling in love which means he could of been the hero all along. This image is from the film P.s I Love You, this image show the princess with her two sidekicks either side of her. Costume In romantic comedies, outfits are normally quite simple. For females outfits are usually girly, often dresses or skirts. This is so we can think of the actress as a 'princess'. Male characters are normally dressed quite simply, usually in jeans and a top. This is so the audience can't stereotype the male role. As the movie is a Rom-com there is normally one character that dresses to the extreme in very outrageous clothing, this connotes that they are a comical character. This is the comical character from Just Go With It. His dress sense is very unusual and the glasses are very comical. This image is from the film Along Came Polly, both characters are dressed very casual which connotes that both characters are relaxed with one another. Lighting In Rom-coms there is a number of different lighting's that could be used. Natural lighting is used is natural environments. For example in the park in the film Maid In Manhattan. Also high key lighting is used this is to connote Love and happiness, this could also be used to imply the comical side of the film. Low key lighting can be used in a romantic way. For example candle light. It may also be used at night. Low key lighting is used in this snapshot of Friends With Benefits, this is to connote passion. This image is from the film Maid In Manhattan. This is the park scene with natural lighting. In Forgetting Sarah Marshall the lighting is high key lighting to show its comedy side. Actors Actors in Rom-com are usually young and attractive. Expressions are very important in rom-coms as it helps to interact with the audience. Also actors can show comedy with there expressions as well as love. In Rom-coms actors show there emotions which is very important to the audience, emotions such as Love, heartbreak, tears and happiness. in Rom-coms actors also show there love though kissing scenes. In the film Dear John you can tell that these to people are very in love by there emotions towards each other and how they are interacting with one another. This is the main actor from Dear John, he is a very typical rom-com actor as he is young and very attractive. Make-up The make-up used in Rom-coms is usually kept to the minimum, this is so the main female character is very natural like a true princess. Sometime there maybe be another girl after the same boy and she normally wears more make-up to show that she isn't as innocent as the princess. This photo from Mean Girls shows that the three 'plastics' have lots of make-up on which connotes that they are Mean whereas Cady is wearing minimal make-up so she looks innocent. Props There can be a wide variety of props used in rom-coms, these props could be to show wealth such as cars, mansions and nice clothing or they could be props to show lack of wealth such as messy clothes and not many nice things. Props can also be used in Rom-coms as a sign of love, such as a wedding ring. In the film Leap Year the prop is the wedding ring which connotes love for each other. In the film The Cinderella Story, Sam is wearing apron and is surrounded by things which you would see in a cafe which sets the location it also shows that she is working class and not as rich as some people. Settings Rom-com settings are usually set in a nice location such as a holiday detonation like the films Just Go With It and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Rom-coms also uses city locations, this is so the audience can relate to the characters. If the characters are in there natural location it can show there busy everyday life and the viewer can understand more about the background of the character. This image is from the film The Proposal, it is set in New york and this helps us understand the busy life of both actors. This film is Forgetting Sarah Marshall which is set in Hawaii this connotes a peaceful, relaxing holiday until peter finds out he is staying in the same hotel as his ex Sarah Marshall and her new partner. Iconography is signs that are unique to the genre. In Rom-coms there are a number of iconography that usually happens in every film. There is always some embarrassing and awkward that happens this is to make the audience laugh. Normally there is a fall out between both of the male and the female roles and they make up with a kissing scene with is usually very romantic with music and sometimes even in the rain. Some films including the meeting of the parents and others included how the loved up couple met. This is an embarrassing and cringey scene from Bridesmaids. This is the romantic kissing scene in the rain form the film The Notebook. This is a trailer to the film Definitely, Maybe which is about a father telling the story of how he met three girls that broke his heart. Narrative Narrative means the sequence of events that the story tells. Using Todorov's theory I think that most rom-coms fit this theory, this is because Rom-com's have a very similar storyline to fairytales. The Film P.s I Love You starts with a typical couple have a argument. The film the lucky one includes all of the themes i have just talking about including a scene from the war. The Time Traveler's Wife also includes many of theses themes. Sound The sound used in Rom-com film is both diagetic and Non-diagetic. Diagetic sounds are usually things like wedding bells, crying, laughter and speech. Non-diagetic sound is songs played during certain parts of the film for example when the couple is about to kiss. The music normally occurs to show the mood of a character, for example if the character was upset sad music would be played. Openings to Rom-coms usually start with an upbeat song this is because the film begins at an equilibrium. This is the opening music to the film The Proposal the lyrics to this song suggests that someone has to 'find there way' which later on in the film the main female role sees a new light and find love which means she a nicer person. This song is from Maid In Manhattan when both main characters are slow dancing together. This is the closing music for A Cinderella Story this music connotes that the equilibrium has been found again. Popular Rom-coms Along Came Polly
Friends With Benefits
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Leap Year
Maid In Manhattan
It's A Boy Girl Thing
Just My Luck
The Holiday
Just Go With It
Definitely, Maybe
New Years Eve
She's Out Of My League
Monster-In-Law
Knocked up
Crazy, Stupid, Love
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